Celanese Corporation is a Fortune 500 international chemical and advanced materials manufacturer. It is one of the leading producers of acetyl products, which are utilized by virtually every industry, and is the world’s largest producer of vinyl acetate monomer. Headquartered in Irving, Texas, approximately 7,500 employees work for Celanese, primarily in Europe, North America and Asia. Its Pasadena, Texas plant hosts the world’s largest acetic acid operation. Acetex, Celanese’s Canadian subsidiary, is the world’s largest manufacturer of acetyl. Its three major competitors are BASF SE, LANXESS, AG, and Methanex Corporation.
Celanese was founded in New York City in 1918 by Camille Dreyfus, a Swiss chemist, and his brother Dr. Henri Dreyfus. The name was changed to Celanese Corporation in 1927.
Celanese Corporation began with the scientific experiments of Camille Dreyfus and Dr. Henri Dreyfus in their father’s agricultural shed. As early as 1910, they learned how to develop plastic film and cellulose acetate lacquers. In 1913, they found a way to make acetate fiber yarn, but World War I interrupted the continued development and marketing of this product. During the war, the brothers shifted their attention to flame-resistant acetate lacquer coating that was used to make fabric coverings for the wings and fuselage of airplanes. Known as “dope”, the acetate lacquer coating became much in demand by European governments, with the British government being the first to invite the Dreyfus brothers to establish a manufacturing facility there. Two years later, Italy and France followed suit, and production facilities were opened there. After the War, the Dreyfus brothers returned to their acetate fiber yarn project, which came to be known as artificial silk. Overcoming resistance from traditional silk customers and natural disasters, this artificial silk ultimately took off and exceeded sales expectations.
Between the mid-40s to late 60s, Celanese expanded to chemicals, paints, triacetate, plastics, nylons, polyesters, and petroleum and forest products.
Celanese operates through a number of subsidiaries:
Celanese Specialty Operations, Celanese Ltd., Celanese SA, Pama Manufacturing, Inc., Celanese Canada, Inc., Celanese do Brasil Frbra Quimicas, Ltd., Virginia Chemicals, Inc., Indal Industries do Alfarroba Ltd., Celanese Japan, Ltd., Celanese Research Co., Virchem SA/NU, Celanese France SARL, Amcel Industra Particiacoes, Ltd., and Meyhall Chemical AG.
The Corporation is organized according to six product segments:
• Intermediate chemistry: vinyl acetate monomer, acetic acid, and acetic anhydride.
• Engineered materials: liquid crystal polymers, acetal polymers, ultrahigh molecular weight polyethylene and long fiber reinforced thermoplastics.
• Emulsion polymers: vinyl acetate homopolymers, vinyl acetate/ethylene, pure acrylics, styrene acrylics, vinyl acrylics, specialty polymers
• Cellulose derivative: With manufacturing facilities in the US, Mexico, Europe and Asia, Celanese is producing cellulose acetate products utilized in the medical, packaging, filtration, insulation, nonwovens and Acetate granules industries.
• EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) polymers: Based in Dallas, with a manufacturing plant in Edmonton, Canada, a wide range of polymers product is developed and utilized in a broad range of highly sophisticated applications, such as: flexible packaging, photovoltaic cells, medical tubing and packaging materials, and medical and pharmaceutical devices
• Food ingredients: Celanese is one the world’s leading producers of sorbates and acesulfame potassium, utilized in the sweetening and preserving of food product.
Celanese products are utilized by practically every industry in the world, including:
• Aerospace and Defense
• Building and Construction
• Electronics and Electrical
• Consumer Goods
• Food and Beverage
• Automotive and Transportation
• Fluid Handling
• Textiles, Fibers and Filtration
• Packing, Film and Printing
• Medical and Pharmaceutical
• Personal Care and Cosmetics
• Oil, Gas and Mining
Through significant investment in technology and product development, Celanese seeks to provide its customer base with the most environmentally friendly product possible. Sustainability extends beyond the immediate environment to include also the communities where Celanese operates, as they seek to be good stewards of its employees, customers, neighbors and the global world.